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Tuesday, July 31, 2012

St. Ignatius and our World Context today

I have always liked this picture of St. Ignatius. I was privileged to make the thirty-day Spiritual Exercises in Manresa, Spain where Ignatius prayed and made most of the notes for this wonderful retreat. I spent the last night in vigil in the cave where he did this as it is under the retreathouse. I also had the joy of returning to give the 30-day retreat to priests and religious three years later. I guess I have always loved the Jesuits since reading Father Finn's stories as a child and then I have three Jesuit cousins that I rather envied. Two are dead now but I first knew them when they were chaplins in the Second World War.

Well, to look at my notes on some of the statistics which Cecile told me she is constantly updating to be aware of our world context, there are more than 7 billion people in the world today. We are almost equal as far as gender.
61% live in Asia and only 13% live in North and South America, 14 % in Africa, 11% in Europe, and 1% in the Pacific on different islands.
Only 9% speak English in the whole world; 21% speak a Chinese dialect.
4 billion are living below the poverty level; 903 million go to bed hungry every night!
780 have no access to clean drinking water. There are 200 million migrants.

I guess that is enough to reflect upon today.

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